It's clear sailing to stay within a block of the ocean as you walk or bike from the northern tip of the Jersey Shore at Sandy Hook until you reach Manasquan and the Manasquan River Inlet. There's no easy way around the winding river to reach Point Pleasant Beach on the other side. The Inlet is a great spot to stop, reflect. The northern part of the Jersey Shore is 50 miles from Sandy Hook to Island Beach State Park. This is roughly the halfway point.
The Manasquan River has tributaries to the north that divide Manasquan in half. Near Route 71, the town is a residential beach community with a vibrant business district along Main Street. Much like other nearby beach towns to its north, single family homes with small lawns line the streets. But crossing two small bridges over Main Street or Ocean Avenue to the east, the beach area resembles a seasonal beach community with houses and apartments tightly packed together and a chaotic parking situation.
(From the vantage point of the beachfront or boardwalk, this is a breezy overview of what you see, where to park and beach access, plus a bit or history and the latest happenings. See map below.)
The fragility of beach development at the Jersey Shore is in plain view along Manasquan Beach. There are no retaining walls or dunes that separate the ocean from stacked houses sitting a few feet away from the promenade. There is some fencing, but across the flat sandy beach the ocean is perilously close.
Jersey Shore's "Eiffel Tower"
A 350-foot communications tower hovers over Manasquan. When it was constructed in 2003 to replace a smaller tower, a resident was quoted in the local paper: "Why go to Paris when the Eiffel Tower in in our own back yard?" The tower is at Ocean and First Avenues is part of the Manasquan Coast Guard Station.
After nearly 200 shipwrecks within a 10-year period during the 1840s, the Coast Guard established a base in the 1850s to help ships navigate the "most treacherous of New Jersey's coastal waterways".
At BookTowne on Main Street
Give Dad the Jersey Shore for Father's Day.
Get the scoop on whale watching, minor league baseball, fishing adventures and more with the #1 NJ Travel Guide:100 Things to Do at the Jersey Shore Before You Die. Booketowne is located at 171 Main Street in Manasquan.
The Coast Guard Station is manned by a crew of 30 full-time men and women, supported by Flotillas of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. The station’s area of responsibility is from Spring Lake to Seaside Heights, from the Manasquan River entrance to Toms River, all of Barnegat Bay and up to 48 miles offshore. The Manasquan Inlet also is the northern terminus of the Intracoastal Waterway which means that on any summer weekend as many as 1600 boats may pass through it. They respond to about 600 search and rescue cases a year.
The main station building is in Point Pleasant Beach along the inlet.
Origin of the name Manasquan
The borough's name comes from the Native Lenape People, meaning "Place to Gather Grass or Reeds." People often refer to the town as "Squan" and there are many historical references to the Squan River, not the more formal name Manasquan River. Other towns in or near the Jersey Shore that have Lenape names are Mantoloking and Manahawkin.
Tips for Visiting Manasquan
What's New: Nothing new to report.
Access and Parking: With the National Guard Training Center and Stockton Lake to its north and the Manasquan River to its south, there is limited direct access to the Manasquan Beach. From Route 71, most people take Main Street through the commercial district to the beach. The other option is Fisk Avenue across the creaky Glimmer Glass Bridge which opens regularly for boat traffic. At the residential area away from the beach and in the commercial district, the parking is free. Near the beach, there is very limited parking. There are several municipal lots for daily parking. Pay on site only.
Amenities: There are restrooms along the boardwalk.
Beaches: Beach badges are required weekends beginning May 29. Badges are required daily from June 19 through September 6. Daily beach badges for people 12 and older are $10 and can be purchased at the beach. Weekly beach badges for people 12 and older are $45. Seasonal beach badges are $85 for people 17-64, $30 for people aged 65 and over and $40 for people 12-16 and can be purchased through Community Pass.
This spring, summer and fall, follow Jersey Shore author and expert R.C. Staab as he walks the entire 139 miles of the Jersey Shore from Sandy Hook to Island Beach State Park, from Old Barney to Beach Haven, from Brigantine to Cape May.
Next stop: Pt. Pleasant Beach at Jersey Shore Walk Mile post 27. See all the Jersey Shore Walk stories at www.jerseyshorewalk.com